How does an insurance company put a value on my personal injury case?
A commonly asked question following an accident that has resulted in an injury is “How does an insurance company put a value on my personal injury case?” or “How much is my case worth?” This question is quite complicated as there is no set guidelines for determining the value of a case, all injuries and persons injured are different, medical care varies, and many, many other factors are to be taken into careful consideration.
First, the claims supervisor or claims manager will provide that a certain amount be “set aside” as a potential value of your case. This figure is usually called “reserves.” Such reserves are the outside value that the company has established on your claim. The reserves may change as the case progresses. In serious cases, such reserves may equal what are called policy limits. Policy limits are the outside limit amounts of liability established in the insurance policy of the person or persons who caused your injury.
During the preparation stages of your case, the insurance company will keep track of your medical bills, lost wages, and permanency regarding your injury, and other factors. The company will also take into consideration the quality of evidence against their insured, the quality of your witnesses and their witnesses, extent of liability on your part and other important considerations such as previous injuries.
If you had a previous injury in the same area of your body, the insurance carrier will want to see medical records pertaining to that injury. During the course of your claim, your attorney will be notified by the insurance company to discuss the important factors that are being considered in your particular case.
Due to the many different variables involved in determining the value of a personal injury case, there is no real way to determine this until all necessary documentation and information has been collected and the cost of past and any future care has been calculated.